Archive for the ‘ Brooklyn Dodgers ’ Category

What’s My Line Jackie Robinson

It was 42 years ago today, October 24, 2014, that Jackie Robinson passed away.

Jackie Robinson was honored in a ceremony during the 1972 World Series. Two weeks later, on October 24, 1972, the legendary ball player died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut from a second heart attack.

Three days after Robinson’s death, Reverend Jesse Jackson gave a stirring eulogy to friends and family members who had gathered at the Cypress Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Today we must balance the tears of sorrow with the tears of joy. Mix the bitter with the sweet in death and life.Jackie as a figure in history was a rock in the water, creating concentric circles and ripples of new possibility. He was medicine. He was immunized by God from catching the diseases that he fought. The Lord’s arms of protection enabled him to go through dangers seen and unseen, and he had the capacity to wear glory with grace.Jackie’s body was a temple of God. An instrument of peace. We would watch him disappear into nothingness and stand back as spectators, and watch the suffering from afar.The mercy of God intercepted this process Tuesday and permitted him to steal away home, where referees are out of place, and only the supreme judge of the universe speaks.
Jackie Robinson Eulogy by Reverend Jesse Jackson

Here is a youtube video from the show “What’s My Line:

Thank you Mr. Jackie Robinson!

Lore and I at the Jackie Robinson statue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium for 2014

Initiated for the first time on April 15, 2004, Jackie Robinson Day is celebrated each year on that day.  In 2004, The Dodgers were playing in San Diego. but starting in 2005, the Dodgers have been celebrating Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium.   That tradition has been broken as the Dodgers will be in San Francisco on April 15, 2014.

I had taken it for granted that the Dodgers would always play at Dodger Stadium on April 15.  Needless to say I am disappointed at the people who create the schedule and at the Dodgers that they did not push for this day to always be played at Dodger Stadium.

Just like many other Dodger fans, we will miss celebrating at Dodger Stadium.   On that day, through Dodger Stadium, you could see fans sporting their Jackie Robison jerseys or t-shirts.  One year I spotted the guy below wearing a Pasadena College jersey with Jackie’s number in the back.   I also spotted a similar jersey from UCLA

Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium

We are very proud that Jackie Robinson went to Pasadena College and that he went to UCLA.   Also that he broke the color barrier wearing a Brooklyn Dodger uniform.

 

I will wear my Jackie Robinson jersey at work since I won’t be going to San Francisco.

 

Honoring the Brooklyn Dodgers Players Alive as of January 6, 2014

Here is my annual post of updating this list of the Brooklyn Dodgers players alive.   From the Brooklyn Dodger players, we lost Andy Pafko, Don Lund, Preston Ward and the youngest one, Don Miller.

We now have 38 surviving Broklyn Dodger players with Mike Sandlock who continues to be the oldest one.  Mr. Sandlock will turn 99 on October 17.  The youngest one is now Bob Aspromonte who will turn 75 on June 19.

Happy birthday to Ralph Branca who turns 88 today January 6, Dia de Los Reyes, Day of the Kings.

I wish you all a healthy 2014.
Name Birthplace.   Born Uni#
Mike Sandlock Old Greenwich, CT 10/17/1915 1, 4
Ray Hathaway Grinville, OH 10/13/1916 22
Lee Pfund Oakpark, IL 10/10/1919 14
Luis   Olmo Puerto Rico 10/11/1919 21
Jean-Pierre Roy Canada. 6/26/1920 34
Pat McGlothin Coalfield, TN 10/20/1920 23
Marv   Rackley Seneca, SC 7/25/1921 35
Chuck   Kress Philadelphia, PA 12/9/1921 5
Eddie   Basinksi  Buffalo, NY 11/4/1922 3
Tim Thompson Coalport, PA 3/1/1924 21
George Shuba Youngstown, OH 12/13/1924 8
Johnny Rutherford Ontario, CN. 5/5/1925 15
 Wayne Terwilliger Clare, Mi. 6/27/1925 34
Chris Haughey Astoria, NY. 10/3/1925 14
 Ralph Branca Mount Vernon, NY 1/6/1926 13,20,28
Bob Borkowski Dayton, OH 1/27/1926 27
Randy Jackson Little Rock, AR 2/10/1926 2
 Dick Teed Springfield, MA 3/8/1926 37
Don Newcombe Madison, NJ 6/14/1926 36
 Bobby Morgan Oklahoma city.  OK 6/29/1926 2
Charlie Osgood Sommerville, MA 11/23/1926 20
Carl Erskine Anderson, IN 12/13/1926 17
Rocky Bridges   Refugio, TX 8/7/1927 9
 Tommy Lasorda   Norristown, PA 9/22/1927 2,27,29
 Tommy Brown    Brooklyn, NY 12/6/1927 9
 Joe Landrum    Columbia, SC 12/13/1928 19
 Joe Pignatano    Brooklyn, NY 8/4/1929 58
Roger   Craig    Durham, NC 2/17/1930 38
 Ron   Negray    Akron, OH 2/26/1930 38
Glenn   Mickens    Wilman, CA 7/26/1930 46
 Don   Zimmer    Cincinnati, OH 1/17/1931 23
 Ed   Roebuck    East Millboro, PA. 7/3/1931 37
 Fred   Kipp     Iqua, KS 10/1/1931 26
 Chico Fernandez    Cuba 3/2/1932 3
Jim Gentile    San Francisco, CA 6/3/1934 38
 Don Demeter    Oklahoma City.  OK 6/25/1935 2
Sandy Koufax      Brooklyn, NY 12/30/1935 32
Bob Aspromonte    Brooklyn, NY 6/19/1938 28. 34
Update:
Rest in peace to the following Brooklyn Dodgers:
Charlie Osgood.   November 23, 1926 – January 23, 2014.
Chuck Kress.    December 9, 1921 – March 4, 2014.
Don Zimmer.   January 17, 1931 – June 4, 2014
George Shuba December 13,  1924 – September 29, 2014.

Don Lund (May 18, 1923 – December 10, 2013)

I am sad to hear that another one of our Brooklyn Dodgers passed away.  Mr. Don Lund passed away of natural causes Tuesday December 10, 2013. He was 90.

Mr. Lund played for the St Louis Browns and the Detroit Tigers.  The SABR chapter in Michigan is named The Don Lund Chapter.

Here is what I posted earlier this year on Mr. Lund

http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/2013/03/04/brooklyn-dodgers-where-are-they-now-don-lund/

[Don Lund]

Don Lund, Bump Elliott at Michigan-Iowa 2012

Rest in peace Mr. Lund.

Ref: Detroitnews.com, Baseball Players passing group, pictures: Brooklynvisualheritage.org, Mvictors.com

Brooklyn Dodgers. Then and Now: Ralph Branca

Ralph Branca then

Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca was born on January 6, 1926 in Mount Vernon.   He was the fifteenth of seventeen children.   He was signed by the Dodgers after a local tryout.

Ralph’s  father, John Branca,  came to America from Italy.  Ralph’s mother, Katherine Berger, was born in Hungary.  Ralph married Ann Mulvey in 1951.  Her parents owned a share of the Dodgers, and her maternal grandfather had been president of the Brooklyn Club.

The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Branca out of the New York University in 1943, when he was just seventeen years old.

In 1947 the twenty-one-year-old Branca became the second-youngest National Leaguer to win 20 games.

Branca was involved in two of the biggest moments in baseball history.   One was the integration of baseball by Jackie Robinson in 1947, and the other was as the man who threw the pitch hit for a home run by Bobby Thompson that won the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants.

In January 2001, joshua Praeger, a reporter for the Wall Street journal published the details of a sign-stealing scheme the Giants rigged in the Polo Grounds.  The scheme involved a telescope from windows in the center-field clubhouse, a buzzer rigged under dirt in the bullpen, and a reserve catcher positioning his body and equipment to tip-off the batter as to which pitch was coming.

Branca said  his friendship with Jackie Robinson continued after baseball.  They played golf together when they worked in Manhattan and saw each other a lot while Jackie was with Chock Full of Nuts.

Ralph Branca now

Check out Ralph’s website at http://www.ralphbranca.com/  and his book:

Ref:  SABR.org, book:  ‘The Team that forever Changed Baseball and America  The 1947 Brooklyn dodgers”   Note:  I am loving this book!

Brooklyn Dodgers. Then and Now: Chris Haughey

Chris Haughey Then

Portrait of Chris Haughey

Chris Haughey was born in Astoria, New York on October 3, 1925.  he was pitching in the Queens CYO League when the Dodgers signed him midway through the 1943 season.

Without throwing a ball in the minors, Haughey made his major league debut on October 3, 1943 against the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field – the last day of the season and Haughey’s 18th birthday. He hurled seven innings in the 6-1 loss but only three of those runs were earned.

Before the start of the next season, on February 15, 1944, Haughey entered military service with the Army.   Here is this from Baseballinwartimes.com:

He was assigned to a Cavalry Replacement Company at Fort Riley, Kansas, but a dispute with a commanding officer ruined his chances of playing with other professional players on the base team. For the next three years, Haughey was a communications instructor, training radio operators.

When he was discharged from the Army in 1946, Haughey was out of practice and his arm was out of shape. He was assigned to Montreal of the International League but released to Asheville of the Tri-State League in May where he was 0-2.

Chris Haughey Now

Haughey later obtained a degree in engineering from FordhamUniversity and worked as an operations manager for a New York oil company. He later spent 20 years as part owner of a men’s clothing store in Salinas, California before moving to Fremont where he continues to live.

I could not find a current picture.
Ref: Baseballinwartime.com, Baseball-fever.com, Baseball Prospectus

Brooklyn Dodgers. Then and Now. Wayne Terwilliger

Wayne Terwilliger then and now.

Wayne Terwilliger then.

I love that picture with Maury Wills!

He signed his first professional baseball contract, with the Cubs, in September, 1948, one month after Babe Ruth died.  He reported to Des Moines Cubs.

In 1949, Twig reported to spring training with the Los Angeles Cubs of the Triple A Pacific Coast League. By August he was the Chicago Cubs starting second baseman.

Terwilliger played nine seasons with five major league teams, mostly as a second baseman. He also played for six minor league teams, and managed 11 minor league teams. During his 12 years as a coach in the majors, he received World Series rings from the Minnesota Twins in 1987 and 1991.

When Terwilliger was 18, he saw action with the Marines in the Pacific during World War II.

Wayne Terwilliger now

Wayne Terwilliger now (as of 2005)

In 2005, Twig became the second man ever to manage at age 80, led the Ft Worth Cats  to a league championship, posted a franchise record for wins, was Manager of the Year, got an earring (really?),  and published his autobiography “Terwilliger Bunts One”

From Www.Wayneterwilliger.com

Player: Cubs (1949-51), Dodgers (1951), Senators (1953-54), Giants (1955-56), KC Athletics (1959-60), and 6 teams in the minors. DETAILS

Coach: Senators (1969-71), Rangers (1972, 1981-85), Twins (1986-94), St. Paul Saints (1995-2002), Ft. Worth Cats (2006-2010). DETAILS

Manager: Managed 12 minor-league teams; 1,224-1,089 record including 2005 Central League championship

As with all the living Brooklyn Dodger players that I have been researching and writing the Then and Now, this was also lots of fun reading about  Twig.  At the same time I learning about our Boys of Summer.

Twig make a pact with Jim Hollars -the Cats’ chaplain, that if they won the championship, they’d both have their ears pierced.  Well Jim’s wife said “Not on your life” but  Twig said  his wife (Lin) had always joked about him getting his ear pierced.

If you like to get his book look on online or for  an autographed copy, send $20 to Terwilliger Bunts One, 1909 Clear Creek Drive, Weatherford, TX 76087

ref:  New York Times,  www.terwilliger.com

Brooklyn Dodger Players Alive. Updated List with new data

Thankfully the list of Brooklyn players alive is still the same number as when I updated the list as of January 2013. The only thing is that I updated the list to include the years the players played for the Dodgers. I got a comment asking me if I knew who of the Dodger players that are alive played with Jackie Robinson in 1947. Robert knew Ralph Branca did, but he wanted to know who else. The other two are Don Lund and Marv Rackley.

So here is the updated list with what years each of these players played for the Dodgers.
Clike on the following link to open the worksheet.
Brooklyn players Alive as of Jan 2013 New.xls

the list was not lining up correctly here so I added the link but if anyone can’t open the above link, here is the way is showing up here:
Name Birthplace. Born Uni# Played for Dodgers
Mike Sandlock Old Greenwich, CT. 10/17/1915 1,4 1945 – 1946
Ray Hathaway Grinville, OH. 10/13/1916 22 1945
Lee Pfund Oak Park ILL. 10/10/1919 14 1945
Luis Olmo Puerto Rico. 10/11/1919 21 1943-1945.1949
Jean-Pierre Roy Canada. 6/26/1920 34 1946
Pat McGlothin Coalfield, TN. 10/20/1920 23 1949-1950
Andy Pafko Boiceville, IL. 2/25/1921 22,48 1951-1952
Marv Rackley Seneca, SC. 7/25/1921 35 1947-1949
Chuck Kress Philadelphia. 12/9/1921 5 1954
Eddie Basinksi Buffalo, NY. 11/4/1922 3 1944-1945
Don Lund Detroit, Mi. 5/18/1923 40 1945,1947-1948
Tim Thompson Coalport, PA. 3/1/1924 21 1954
George Shuba Youngstown, OH. 12/13/1924 8 1948-1950,1952-1955
Johnny Rutherford Ontario, CN. 5/5/1925 15 1952
Wayne Terwilliger Clare, Mi. 6/27/1925 34 1951
Chris Haughey Astoria, NY. 10/3/1925 14 1943
Ralph Branca Mount Vernon, NY. 1/6/1926 13,20,28 1944-1953, 1956
Bob Borkowski Dayton, OH. 1/27/1926 27 1955
Randy Jackson Little Rock, AR. 2/10/1926 2 1956-1958
Dick Teed Springfield, MA. 3/8/1926 37 1953 One At Bat
Don Newcombe Madison, NJ. 6/14/1926 36 1949-1951, 1954-1958
Bobby Morgan Oklahoma city. 6/29/1926 2 1950, 1952-1953
Charlie Osgood Sommerville, MA 11/23/1926 20 1944
Carl Erskine Anderson, IN. 12/13/1926 17 1948-1959
Preston Ward Columbia, MO. 7/24/1927 36 1948
Rocky Bridges Refugio, TX. 8/7/1927 9 1951-1952
Tommy Lasorda Norristown, PA. 9/22/1927 2,27,29 1954-1955
Tommy Brown Brooklyn, NY. 12/6/1927 9 1944-1945. 1947- 1951
Joe Landrum Columbia, SC. 12/13/1928 19 1950, 1952
Joe Pignatano Brooklyn, NY. 8/4/1929 58 1957-1960
Roger Craig Durham, NC. 2/17/1930 38 1955-1961
Ron Negray Akron, OH. 2/26/1930 38 1952, 1958
Glenn Mickens Wilman, CA 7/26/1930 46 1953
Don Zimmer Cincinnati, OH. 1/17/1931 23 1954-1959, 1963
Ed Roebuck East Millboro, PA 7/3/1931 37 1956-1958, 1960-1963
Fred Kipp Iqua, KS. 10/1/1931 26 1957-1959
Chico Fernandez Cuba. SS. 3/2/1932 3 1956
Jim Gentile San Francisco, CA 6/3/1934 38 1957-1958
Don Demeter Oklahoma City. OK 6/25/1935 2 1956, 1958-1961
Sandy Koufax Brooklyn, NY. 12/30/1935 32 1955-1966
Bob Aspromonte Brooklyn, NY. 6/19/1938 28, 34 1956, 1960-1961
Rod Miller Portland, OR. 1/16/1940 50 1957 One at Bat

P.S. The next Brooklyn Dodger from this list that I will post about is Wayne Terwilliger.

Brooklyn Dodgers. Then and Now. Johnny Rutherford

Johnny Rutherford then

Portrait of Johnny RutherfordJohnny Rutherford  was born on Tuesday, May 5, 1925, in Belleville, Ontario,  Canada. Rutherford was 26 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April  30, 1952, with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Rutherford pitched both as a starter and reliever for the pennant-winning 1952 Dodgers. He made his major league debut  in relief against the Cardinals at Sportsman Park. His first major league win came a week later, also in relief, in a 5–4 decision over the Cincinnati Reds at Ebbets Field.

At the plate, he batted .290 (9-for-31) with 3 runs batted in and 3 runs scored.

Rutherford made one appearance in the 1952 World Series   He pitched one inning in  Game # 4 and gave up one hit (a Mickey Mantle triple) and one earned turn.

Johnny Rutherford now
I looked everywhere for a current picture of Johnny Rutherford but I could not find one :-(

Brooklyn Dodgers. Where Are They Now: George Shuba

George Shuba then

Shuba, the youngest of 10 children, grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, in a family of Czechoslovakian descent. He developed a love for baseball at six years old. Instead of playing in an organized little league, he and the neighbor kids played ball right in the street.

He attended Catholic grammar school at Holy Name Elementary in Youngstown. He recalls the nuns being very strict, which helped him become disciplined at a young age. His brother was a priest, so he was constantly surrounded by Catholic influences.

George Shuba now

George Shuba in 2007 with his book

Before every meal, Shuba and his family would recite a Slovak prayer — a tradition started by his mother and brother. He continued to say this prayer each day during his baseball career and still carries on the tradition to this day.

In the mid-1940s when young men were being shipped around the globe during World War II, Shuba was dealt a different hand. He sustained an ear injury while being disciplined by one of his teachers as a child, so he was unable to enter the U.S. Army. Instead, Shuba attended an open Dodgers’ tryout in 1943 at age 17, after finding out about it from his friends on the street.

“They said, ‘George, you should go try out at Borts Field (Youngstown). You’re good enough.’” Shuba said. “I really didn’t think I was, but I went and hit a few out of bounds and a couple of fouls out of the park.”

Though Shuba signed with the Dodgers following his tryout, his father, Jan, was not on board with the decision to pursue a lofty career path. Jan worked at the mills in Youngstown, a steel-manufacturing town.

“He (Jan) wanted me to work at the mills where I could have a steady job,” Shuba said. “But I had dreams of being a professional ball player. I really believed I could.”

Shuba worked on his swing every night by hanging a rope from his ceiling and tying knots to represent the strike zone.

“I would swing a 44-ounce bat 500 times a night between the knots,” Shuba said. “When it came to batting practice the next day, I was already ready!”

Shuba gained a reputation for hitting hard line drives all over the field. According to Roger Kahn in his book, The Boys of Summer, the nickname “Shotgun” evolved from Shuba’s “spraying line drives with a swing so compact that it appeared as natural as a smile.”

Check out George “Shotgun”Shuba website at http://www.georgeshuba.com/bookcover.shtml

Ref: http://thetablet.org/faith-inspires-shotgun-shubas-baseball-dream/ OOTdevelopments’s first picture.

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